June 2016

Thank You to Our eNews Sponsor
Welcome New Members 
Anna's Closet
302 Division Street
Northfield, MN 55057
Primary Contact: Lucy Sweitzer

Aldrich Technology Consulting
2309 Harbor Drive
PO Box 263
Northfield, MN 55057
Primary Contact: Chad Aldrich
Millersberg Construction
708 Schilling Drive, Suite 7
Dundas, MN 55019
Primary Contact: Shawn Butterfield

Help Us, Help You 
What is your primary reason for belonging to the Northfield Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism?
  • Networking
  • Educational seminars/programs
  • Legislative voice/influence
  • Business credibility
  • Website/printed Directory
  • Other

We Deserve Better
By: Todd Bornhauser, Chamber President 
As I woke up the day after the 2016 legislative session ended, only to find our state legislature was unable to pass transportation and bonding bill, my first response was "why do we in Minnesota put up with a total lack of accountability and inefficiency from our elected officials?"   Then, less than two weeks later, the governor pocket-vetoed the omnibus tax bill.  If we were in the private sector, and we were not able to get our work accomplished, or be civil to our fellow employees, or take responsibility for our actions, we would be shown the door and not asked to come back.  Why has making decisions for the best interest of Americans, or Minnesotans, or residents of Northfield become so difficult?  We deserve better!
Who pays the price for this complete and utter nonsense?  Why it's the residents of Northfield, the citizens of Minnesota and the business community that has to operate under these conditions.  If this legislative session seems all too familiar; you only have to look at last year to see the same show.  In 2015, the legislature left 900 million dollars on the table because they could not craft a transportation and tax bill that both parties and governor could COMPROMISE on and pass.  The legislators' response to the public was "we will take care of it in 2016".  One year later, at the end of this session, and we have no transportation bill, bonding bill and the governor has just vetoed the tax bill.  All we have is finger pointing, sparring over who is to blame for the business left undone, and the hostage holding tactics of a special session.  My mother told me on numerous occasions that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome.  Well guess what, we've reached insanity!
As the governor huddles with top legislative leaders in an effort to strike an agreement that would salvage unfinished business from this year's fractious legislative session, my initial response is to say "hell no."  Why should I give you more time to do the work you were not capable in doing in the first place?  It's ridiculous that our political leaders still can't figure out what they are doing.  A special session amounts to nothing more than political cover, leads to backroom leads by leadership that is forced down the throats of legislators who have little or no time to look and study the bills before voting on them.
But who suffers at the end?  It's the people of Minnesota.  The bonding bill and transportation bill are huge public works job creation bills that improve our infrastructure and create high paying jobs.  The tax bill was a far-ranging measure of tax cuts and credits for parents, farmers, college students and small businesses.  It was a bill that passed with broad bipartisan support of nearly 90% of legislators.  A bill that nobody got all they wanted, but compromised in order to get it passed.  Only to be vetoed by the governor and held hostage to get what he wants.  Really?
My suggestion is that if you really need a special session, that the leadership of the House and Senate resign and be replaced before the special session.  These four gentlemen have done a great disservice to their fellow legislators and the people of Minnesota.  They were ineffective last session, and continued on their ways in 2016.  After attending Sessions Priorities Dinner the first day of session, and watching their interaction with one another, one could guarantee the session would end the way it did.  Their leadership skills are non-existent, and continue to leave the other legislators out in the dark. It is time to find others to take on the leadership tasks.  Perhaps utilize the skills of some outstanding female legislators currently in office.  Also, members of the legislature, since I paid you to not get accomplished all your work during the session, I am not going to pay you more money for the special session.  Get your work done the first time, on time!
Whatever happens with this legislative session, we need to become more engaged this election year, and ask our candidates how they are going to change their style and interaction with one another.   What are they willing to compromise on?  How will they put the interests of all Minnesotans first over their political party's interests or their pet projects or special interest groups.  No change = continued insanity.  Is that what we really want?        

Chamber in Action
Mikala Nord from the Country Inn & Suites was named Hospitality Person of the Year at 
the May 4th Hospitality
 L uncheon

Delicious food made by the Northern Lights Cafe within the Northfield Hospital for the May 11th Morning Business Brew
Had at blast shopping, drinking, dining and dancing downtown at the May 13th Girls Nite 
Out e vent
Full house at the May 18th Business After Hours at Jon Snodgrass' Edward Jones Office. Co hosted by A Team Landscaping

What smaller companies want: 
Top 7 needs for effective benefits management
By: VJ Bala, hCentive
When going up against larger competitors for a limited pool of highly qualified employees, small to midsized companies often find themselves at a disadvantage, particularly when it comes to benefits. Big businesses typically have access to a wider range of benefits and can offer better choices. And, larger companies usually have a deeper bench of in-house experts to handle their benefits strategy.

The playing field has been tilted in favor of larger companies for decades, but the disadvantage for smaller companies is even more acute in an era where the healthcare landscape is changing rapidly. Today, payment models are more complex, and technology plays a significant role in gaining access to coverage.

To find out how smaller companies are dealing with these challenges, hCentive conducted a pulse survey to explore what small to midsized companies need and what factors they consider when administering benefits. The survey focused on employer groups in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast across a range of industries and roles.

Click here to read the full article 

Cashin' In With Chamber Bucks
May's Top Chamber Buck Redeemers 


Other members that took advantage of the Chamber Buck program in May include:
Basil's Pizza
DuFour's Cleaners
Northfield Olive Oils & Vinegar
Anna's Closet
A Bag Lady
Quality Appliance
Knecht's Nurseries & Landscaping
Froggy Bottoms River Pub & PADio 

The Chamber Buck program is another member benefit offered by the Northfield Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism. We encourage members to proudly display their "Chamber Bucks Accepted Here" stickers and promote their acceptance in their own marking materials. For ideas please contact the Chamber office. 
According to a study conducted by Local First "local retailers return an average of 52 percent of their revenue to the local economy, compared with just 14 percent for the chain retailers. Similarly, the local restaurants re-circulate an average of 79 percent of their revenue locally, compared to 30 percent for the chain eateries." 

Remember Chamber Bucks  make great gifts or employee incentives 
Available all year in $5, $10 and $25 denominations 
The Show Must Go On!
A special thanks to Hayes Scriven, Executive Director for the Historical Society, for his help in leading the charge to have the City of Northfield take over the management and payment of the annual 4th of July fireworks.  This community event was in danger of being disbanded after numerous organizations determined it was not in their mission statement or plan of work.  The business community will be asked one last time in 2016 to fund the event, with the city taking full ownership in 2017.     

Member News
Northfield Enterprise Center will be hosting a free Lunch & Learn on  Networking on  TuesdayJune 14th
Noon to 1pm.
 Held at the NEC - 510 Washington St . RSVP TODAY to 507-786-9065 or director@northfieldenterprisecenter.com

Celebrate the arrival of summer with a free yoga session on the beautiful grounds of Northfield Hospital with "Yoga on the Lawn" on  Saturday, June 18, 10:00 - 11:00 am,  Northfield Hospital, 2000 North Ave.
Do you have business news to share? We want to hear about it! Please contact Lindsay at  lindsay@northfieldchamber.com to have your big announcement in next months newsletter. 

Northfield Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism | w ww.northfieldchamber.com 
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